CWS 2023: Chicago Cubs organist called in for this year’s games

The organist at Wrigley Field in Chicago is playing during the College World Series this year.
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 10:25 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - John Benedeck is getting acquainted with the organ at Omaha’s Charles Schwab Field.

He says it’s a very nice instrument -- just different from the one he plays for his day job for Chicago Cubs fans at Wrigley Field.

“It’s probably older than my grandparents,” Benedeck said. “It’s a very old machine. It’s got the old tone wheel startup, it’s like starting an old car. It’s such a different beat than the lowery that’s at Wrigley. It’s a very different organ, just trying to make it work for me.”

CWS officials were looking for a new organist when Jerry Pawlak retired. Omaha officials reached out to help them find a new organist.

“After a few conversations and emails and everything, they were like ‘Why don’t you just give me a shot?’, and I applied and eventually they offered it to me, and here we are,” he said.

John tells us his style is to follow the game, the situations, and the players.

“I try to be as tastefully cheeky and sarcastic as I can be,” Benedeck said. “I don’t want to be too mean, it’s all in good fun. That’s why we’re here. So if people are coming up to the plate, their name is a pun with a song, I’ll play a song that’s kind of (goes with it).”

But John says he won’t play “Three Blind Mice” if the umpires make a questionable call.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I like having a job.”

Benedeck is one of two organists who play at Cubs games during the season. He tells 6 News he’s open to coming back next year if they’ll have him.